Work What You Love
A student of mine once asked me: Where do you get your ideas to paint? You don't seem to ever run out of topics!
Creativity can be elusive and mysterious. This involves an intricate blending of ideas, imagination, experimentation and other factors, that can be very fleeting. Hence I believe it paramount to establish a foothold by developing a concept. This concept then becomes the springboard for an artistic creation.
From concept, I move on to connecting the fragments of ideas and imagination. Colors, shapes, gestures, other art materials come to fore when utilized to convert this idea into a visual image. Careful experimentation can produce some unexpected surprises. When combined with the proper techniques, all these fragments of creating come together to form a cohesive whole.
In my opinion, abstract images give room for the viewers' imagination that may result in a challenge to interact with the artist. A camera captures images as is or can be manipulated expertly with the latest technology. I may tend to capture realistically with a caveat: adding brushworks and concepts to an existing reference that makes the viewer think spontaneously with my painting. The titles of my paintings are the "punctuation marks" to the images created.
Frequently Asked Art Questions
Artists never fail to fascinate other mere mortals. However, few realize that artists can be born but not necessarily made! All it takes is technique, which can be taught. Then a thinking brain completes the art product. A brilliant artist once remarked: So-and-so is so skilled at painting and drawing; he needs to have his hands cut off so he can USE his brain.
Q: My landscapes seem to lack perspective. What is the secret?
A. As the view recedes, the horizon becomes lighter. . One guide is observing the view from the car windshield as you drive out on the highway. Note the distant haze as compared to the stark foreground.
Q: Still on landscapes, how is scaling done?
A: From a photograph, one effective scale is achieved by drawing horizontal and vertical lines.as guide. Then shapes of detailed objects can be molded along these plumb lines.
If painting on site, the old way of scaling using a brush to measure details and distance can work. The landscape may be simplified or trimmed. Removing some objects from the scenery .will result in a better composition, free of clutter.
Q: How can light be worked in a painting ?
A: Note light source. When copying from photos, note where shadows appear, determined by direction of the light. I often remind students not to be afraid of the dark in order to get the light. Lights and darks are basic ingredients for a successful painting.
Painting on site must be done at the same time of day, or adjusted for light source, if the painting will take several days to do.
Taking a picture on site, can help if painting is to be finished indoors.
Have an Art Question? E-mail the artist. (The artist reserves the right to publish all Qs received)